Begonia Care in the Winter

By Renee Gerber , last updated March 26, 2011

Begonias are beautiful plants with rich, dark green leaves and small, bright pink or red flowers, and they can be properly cared for and maintained during the winter as long as they're indoors. They are commonly used as indoor houseplants, but it isn't unusual to see them growing outside in a garden. If you have a begonia in your yard or are considering growing one outdoors, you will need all the facts about properly caring for the plant during the winter.

The first thing you should know about begonias is that all types of this plant are unable to survive outdoors in the freezing cold winter months. Therefore, if you live in a region that experiences bitter winters, you must bring them into your house during the season.

Before it gets too cold, dig up your begonia plants, ensuring that you get all of the roots, in preparation for indoor storage. The ideal time to do this is in late fall, approximately around early or mid-October, before the first frost. For the first week, lay the begonia on scattered newspaper and allow the plants to sit near a window in a room that receives plenty of sunlight. This will allow the plant enough time to dry out and is used as a preventative measure to avoid fungus.

Believe it or not, it is also possible to winterize begonias outdoors. If your plants are already in pots out in your garden or yard, you can store them in containers and move them to a dry, cool and dark area. Your garage will serve very well for this, so consider storing your begonias there. Leave the pots in an upright or slightly tipped position, and keep an eye on them during the season.

Wax begonias require special attention during the winter. You will have to bring them indoors after carefully transplanting them into containers. Keep them away from your other plants and be sure to treat them for mildew and insects prior to bringing them into the house. Once indoors, wax begonias do best on windowsills with shades of blinds slightly draw, as they do better with a smaller amount of light while they adjust to newly being indoors. Place a humidifier in the room for the plant, but water it slightly less during the cold season. This is mandatory to the acclimation of the begonia to its new environment.

Once spring returns and the plants can be moved back to the garden, water them more, as you normally would do.

Resources and References
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